City Sleeps: A look at the empty NYC streets amid the virus

The Associated Press
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Virus Outbreak Empty New York Photo Gallery

In this March 21, 2020 photo, a lone pedestrian walks his dog past the New York Stock Exchange as COVID-19 concerns empty a typically bustling downtown area in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced sweeping orders Friday that will severely restrict gatherings of any size for the state's more than 19 million residents and will require workers in nonessential businesses to stay home. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A desolate Times Square still lit up with no one on the streets. The usually bustling Grand Central Terminal empty, except for a lone traveler. Only a few people snapping selfies on the Brooklyn Bridge, instead of the horde of commuters and tourists that usually venture across the iconic span.

Efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus have completely altered the usual New Yorker way of life, grinding the “city that never sleeps” to a halt in the last week after it became one of the nation's epicenters for the fast-spreading virus.

Nearly 2,000 people have been hospitalized in the state with the virus and 114 have died, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday. More than 15,000 have tested positive statewide, including 9,000 in New York City.

The handful people still roaming around the streets will become even fewer starting at 8 p.m. Sunday, when a new state order takes effect requiring all nonessential employees to stay home. Nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason have also been canceled or postponed.

The impact on the usually bustling city were visible throughout Manhattan.

The Charging Bull, a popular tourist attraction near the Stock Exchange normally surrounded by tourists, stood alone with no one in sight. Once-packed subway cars had only a few passengers, almost all wearing face masks.

And a row of Broadway theaters were still illuminated even though they are shuttered until mid-April, a sign that the show will go on.